Stuart Appleby, with eight missed cuts in 13 PGA Tour events this season, has been MIA of late. The 41-year-old Aussie hoped to halt the skid at this week’s Travelers Championship by dusting off the Odyssey White Hot XG 330 Mallet Putter he used when he clinched his last tour victory, the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. That long-ago event was also the one in which he fired a final-round 59.
“It’s really a crumbling wreck, my game,” Appleby told reporters Friday after firing a second-round 5-under 65 to match Thursday’s opening 68. “I wasn’t hitting it any good and I wasn’t thinking any good and I was just really finding it very hard.”
A back injury hasn’t helped, but playing musical chairs with flat sticks was certainly not the answer.
“I really had to assess what was going on in my game and where I had to improve,” said Appleby. “I was chasing around, moving putters. Didn’t know when I was going to hit the hole. And it’s just started sapping the energy.”
So out came the White Hot, which Odyssey no longer promotes, but which is available at amazon.com and other online sites.
“I went back to the putter I had with the 59 and I tried to keep the game as simple as it can be,” Appleby said. “But I…got some things in my swing working back to the good old Stuart Appleby days, got back to my old 59 putter and trying to think properly, get more excited and more into the game and shots, and sort of taking the glass as half full as mostly full now instead of half empty.”
So far, so good for Appleby, who was tied for fifth in the field in birdies and, with much golf to play in a weather-delayed second round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., just two shots back of clubhouse leader Fredrik Jacobson’s 9-under.